Posts Tagged ‘Eastern District of Arkansas’
Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Christopher Thyer was sworn in as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas during a private ceremony Friday.

Christopher Thyer (Gov)

Chief U.S. District Judge J. Leon Holmes of the Eastern District of Arkansas administered the oath to Thyer, whom the Senate confirmed Dec. 22. Thyer is the first presidential appointee approved by the Senate to lead the Little Rock-based U.S. Attorney’s office after Bud Cummins was ousted during the 2006 U.S. Attorney firing scandal.

Rep.-elect Tim Griffin (R-Ark.), a protege of President George W. Bush’s adviser Karl Rove, replaced Cummins in 2006, serving as interim U.S. Attorney until June 2007. Jane Duke had led the U.S. Attorney’s office after Griffin stepped down.

Thyer was a partner at the law firm of Stanley & Thyer PA in Jonesboro and an Arkansas state representative.

“I am humbled and honored that the President and the Senate have entrusted me to fill this important position,” Thyer said in a statement. “I truly stand on the shoulders of the great men and women who have held this position before me. And, just as important, I am very excited to work with some of the finest attorneys in Arkansas who work tirelessly on behalf of our country.”

The U.S. Attorney will have a ceremonial investiture with family members, friends and colleagues at a future date.

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Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed by unanimous consent only one of five U.S. Attorney nominees waiting for consideration by the body in this Congress, returning the rest to the White House.

Christopher Thyer received the Senate’s approval to be the top federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of Arkansas. But the Senate sent back to President Barack Obama U.S. Attorney nominees S. Amanda Marshall of Oregon, M. Scott Bowen of the Western District of Michigan, John B. Stevens Jr. of the Eastern District of Texas and Thomas Gray Walker of the Eastern District of North Carolina. Obama must re-nominate the four if he wants the Senate to consider them in the next Congress, which convenes in January.

The Senate has now confirmed 76 U.S. Attorneys.

Here are more details on Thyer and the returned nominees:

- Obama nominated Thyer on Dec. 1 to be the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. The Senate Judiciary Committee never held a vote on his nomination.

Christopher Thyer (Gov)

He is a partner at the law firm of Stanley & Thyer PA in Jonesboro and a former Arkansas state representative. Read more about him here.

The Eastern District has not had a presidential appointee at the helm since Bud Cummins was ousted during the 2006 U.S. Attorney firing scandal. Rep.-elect Tim Griffin (R-Ark.), a protege of President George W. Bush’s adviser Karl Rove, replaced Cummins in 2006, serving as interim U.S. Attorney until June 2007. Jane Duke has led the U.S. Attorney’s office since Griffin’s departure.

- Obama tapped Marshall for Oregon U.S. Attorney on Nov. 17. But the Senate Judiciary Committee never acted on her nomination.

S. Amanda Marshall (facebook)

She is the top lawyer in the Child Advocacy Section of the Oregon Department of Justice. Marshall was slated to replace Interim U.S. Attorney Dwight C. Holton. Bush U.S. Attorney Karin Immergut resigned in July 2009 and later became a state judge.

Read more about Marshall here.

Scott Bowen (Gov)

- Obama nominated Bowen on July 28 to be the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan. But the Senate Judiciary Committee never acted on his nomination.

He is the commissioner of the Michigan State Lottery Bureau. Bowen was slated to replace Donald A. Davis, who became Interim U.S. Attorney in 2008.

A Senate-confirmed U.S. Attorney hasn’t led the office since Margaret Chiara resigned on March 16, 2007, after being fired in the 2006 U.S. Attorney purge by the Bush administration.Read more about Bowen here.

- Obama tapped Stevens on Feb. 24 to be the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas. But he withdrew from consideration a few months later, and the Senate Judiciary Committee never voted on his nomination.

Stevens told KFDM News in April that he withdrew because “what was in the best interests of me and my family 18 months ago has changed.”

John B. Stevens Jr. (Lamar University)

Stevens, a state judge in Texas, had the support of Texas Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison, in addition to the Texas House Democrats, who are led by Rep. Lloyd Doggett.

The members of Congress are engaged in a fierce battle over the state’s four U.S. Attorney nominations. Doggett and the Republican senators submitted separate lists of their picks to the White House.

Stevens and Michael McCrum were the only U.S. Attorney candidates who appeared on both lists. McCrum was recommended for the Western District of Texas U.S. Attorney nomination.

Obama never nominated him, and McCrum removed his name from consideration in October.

- Obama nominated Walker on Nov. 30, 2009, to be the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina. But the Senate Judiciary Committee never acted on his nomination.

Thomas G. Walker (Courtesy Alston + Bird)

Thomas G. Walker (Courtesy Alston + Bird)

He is a partner at the law firm of Alston & Bird, LLP in Charlotte, N.C. Walker was slated to replace U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding, whom Bush appointed in 2006.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) held up his nomination over concerns about Walker’s connections to former Gov. Mike Easley (D) and former Sen. John Edwards (D).

The U.S. Attorney’s office investigated Easley for allegedly filing a false campaign financial disclosure. The office terminated its investigation last month after he reached a plea deal.

Edwards is reportedly under investigation by the office for allegedly paying his mistress with campaign money.

Burr said he planned to lift his hold on Walker upon completion of both the probes. Read more about Walker here.

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Christopher Thyer (Gov)

Christopher R. Thyer (Arkansas State University, University of Arkansas School of Law) is nominated to be the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. He would replace Tim Griffin, who served as the district’s interim U.S. Attorney from December 2006 to June 2007. Jane Duke, who had been First Assistant U.S. Attorney, has led the office since December 2007.

His vitals:

  • Born in Kansas City, Mo., in 1969.
  • Has been a partner/owner of Stanley  & Thyer,  P.A. in  Jonesboro,  Ark., since January 2007.
  • Has been a member/owner of Stanley- Thyer  Real Estate  Investments,  LLC in Jonesboro,  Ark., since May 2008.
  • Was a partner/member of Halsey  & Thyer,  PLC in Jonesboro,  Ark., from October  2005 to January  2007.
  • Has been a member of Precision Partners,  LLC in Jonesboro,  Ark., since September 2005.
  • Was a member of Precision Title  Services,  LLC in Paragould,  Ark., from December  2004 to July 2006.
  • Served in the Arkansas House  of Representatives from January 2003 to January  2009.
  • Owned Solon, Inc. in Jonesboro,  Ark., from January  2003 to May 2004.
  • Was a member/owner of Halsey- Thyer  Real Estate  Investments,  LLC in Jonesboro,  Ark., from October  2002 to May 2008.
  • Was a partner/owner of Mooney Law Firm,  P.A. in Jonesboro,  Ark., from June  1997 to October  2005.
  • Was an adjunct teacher at the Arkansas  State University in Jonesboro,  Ark. during the fall of 1996.
  • Owned Christopher  R. Thyer,  P.A. in Jonesboro,  Ark. from August 1995 to June  1997.
  • Clerked for Ball & Mourton,  PLLC in Fayetteville,  Ark., during the summer and fall of 1994.
  • Clerked for Womack,  Landis,  Phelps,  McNeill  & McDaniel (now Womack, Landis, Phelps & McNeill) in Jonesboro,  Ark., during the summer of 1993.
  • Has handled an estimated 300 non-settled  trials to conclusion.

Click here for his full Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire.

UPDATE: On his Senate Judiciary financial disclosure Thyer reported $1.4 million in assets, mostly from real estate, and liabilities of $782,800, for a net worth of $613,800. His $1.14 million in real estate holdings include his personal residence, a condo, a strip mall and his law office. He has mortgages for all of the properties. Oh his Office of Government Ethics disclosure he reported his income distribution from his law firm for 2009 and most of 2010 was $272,804. He also earned $6,631 during that time period from his ownership of a strip mall.

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced his nomination of a former Arkansas state representative to be the U.S. Attorney in Little Rock, two weeks after the White House apparently inadvertently released his name.

Christopher Thyer (Gov)

A White House news release on Nov. 17 listed Christopher R. Thyer as a U.S. Attorney nominee, but the White House quickly withdrew it, indicating it had been issued in error.

The first announcement didn’t have the standard biographical information on him. The news release from Wednesday does.

Thyer, a Democrat, who represented Jonesboro, Ark., in the state legislature, is a partner at the law firm of Stanley & Thyer PA in the city.

He’s been waiting a long time for this moment.

In May 2009, Arkansas Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, both Democrats, recommended Thyer and two others be considered to lead the Eastern District of Arkansas U.S. Attorney’s office.

The senators also recommended Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward O. Walker and Michael Barnes, a partner at the Little Rock law firm of Wright, Lindsey & Jennings LLP for the post. But with no action from the White House for more than a year, Barnes removed himself from consideration in August.

The Eastern District has not had a presidential appointee in charge since Bud Cummins was ousted during the 2006 U.S. Attorney firing scandal. Rep.-elect Tim Griffin (R-Ark.), a protege of George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove, replaced Cummins in 2006, serving as interim U.S. Attorney until June 2007. Jane Duke has led the U.S. Attorney’s office since Griffin’s departure.

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

A former Arkansas state representative was the U.S. Attorney nominee for the Eastern District of Arkansas for about 40 minutes Wednesday night.

Christopher Thyer (Gov)

A White House news release at 6:39 p.m. listed Christopher R. Thyer as one of President Barack Obama’s U.S. Attorney nominees, but didn’t include the standard biographical information on him. Then, at 7:17 p.m., the White House issued a correction, saying S. Amanda Marshall of Oregon was the only U.S. Attorney nominee Wednesday night.

A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Main Justice.

Thyer, a Democrat, who represented Jonesboro in the state legislature, is currently a partner at the law firm of Stanley & Thyer PA in the city.

In May 2009, Democratic Arkansas Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor recommended Thyer for the Eastern District of Arkansas U.S. Attorney nomination. The senators also recommended Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward O. Walker and Michael Barnes, a partner at the Little Rock law firm of Wright, Lindsey & Jennings LLP for the post. Barnes took himself out of the running for the Little Rock-based job in August.

The Eastern District of Arkansas U.S. Attorney’s Office has not had a presidential appointee at the helm since Bud Cummins was ousted during the 2006 U.S. Attorney firing scandal. Rep.-elect Tim Griffin (R-Ark.), a protege of George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove, replaced Cummins in 2006, serving as interim U.S. Attorney until June 2007. Jane Duke has led the U.S. Attorney’s office since Griffin’s departure.

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

A former interim U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas will replace a seven-term Democrat in the House, The Washington Post projected late Tuesday night.

Tim Griffin (Tim Griffin for Congress)

 

Republican Tim Griffin, who led the Little Rock, Ark.-based U.S. Attorney’s office from December 2006 to January 2007, is set to succeed Democratic Rep. Vic Snyder, who did not run for reelection. With 52 percent of precincts reporting, Griffin secured 56 percent of the vote for the seat in central Arkansas, while Democratic state Sen. Joyce Elliott (D) received 40 percent of the vote.

Griffin took the helm of the U.S. Attorney’s office after the George W. Bush administration forced out former Eastern District of Arkansas U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins during the 2006 U.S. Attorney purge. He was an aide to former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove before he became interim U.S. Attorney.

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Tim Griffin (Tim Griffin for Congress)

Tim Griffin (R) is getting a lot of help from his former colleagues in the Bush White House, giving him a fundraising edge in his bid for Congress. Griffin, a former Bush administration official who was a key figure in the 2006 U.S. Attorney firings scandal, is one of seven candidates seeking to replace Democratic Rep. Vic Snyder in Arkansas’ 2nd District. Snyder dropped his re-election bid in January, citing family concerns.

Griffin, a former assistant to Bush White House adviser Karl Rove , was installed as the U.S. Attorney in Little Rock in December 2006 under a controversial provision of the Patriot Act that circumvented Senate confirmation. It later emerged in congressional testimony that Griffin’s predecessor, Bud Cummins, had been ousted in an apparent move to make way for Griffin. Griffin stepped down as U.S. Attorney in June 2007.

In the first quarter of 2010, Griffin raised more than $184,000, ending the quarter with $404,000 cash on hand. Griffin receive dozens of donations from Republican operatives who worked in the Bush administration or on one of President Bush’s campaigns. Griffin’s lone primary opponent is restaurant owner Scott Wallace. In the first quarter of 2010, Wallace raised nearly $25,000 and ended the quarter with about $16,000 in cash on hand.

On the other side of the political aisle, five Democrats have filed paperwork to seek the nomination for the open seat. The Democrats got a later start on fundraising, as none announced until after Snyder dropped out.

In the first quarter of 2010, Snyder’s former chief of staff David Boling raised nearly $160,000, ending the quarter with about $210,000 in cash on hand. He has loaned his campaign $100,000. In the first quarter of 2010, attorney John Adams raised about $53,000 and ended the quarter with about $35,000 in cash on hand. In the first quarter of 2010, state Sen. Joyce Elliot raised just over $123,000, ending the quarter with about $99,000 in cash on hand. In the first quarter of 2010, state House Speaker Robbie Wills raised more than $327,000 and ended the quarter with $221,000 in cash on hand. University of Arkansas official Patrick Kennedy has yet to file an April quarterly report.

Among Griffin’s donors are:

  • Dena Battle, the director of tax policy at the National Association of Manufacturer and former legislative director for Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) — $500
  • Richard Bearden, partner of Impact Management Group and was appointed by Bush to serve as a commissioner on the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and a presidential appointee to the President’s Commission on White House Fellows — $250
  • Glynda Becker, a lobbyist at McBee Strategic Consulting who served as associate political director in the White House Office of Political Affairs for two and one half years during the Bush administration— $250
  • Kevin Binger, senior vice president of The Rhoads Group and former staff director of the House Government Reform Committee and former chief of staff and communications director to Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) — $250
  • Donald Bollinger, chairman, president and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards and a personal friend of Bush’s — $1,000
  • Jason Braswell, an attorney at the Defense Department — $500
  • Alex Castellanos, a top media adviser to Bush’s 2004 campaign — $1,000
  • Barbara Comstock, a partner at Corallo Comstock who worked in the Justice Department’s Office of Public Affairs under Attorney General John Ashcroft — $500
  • Kevin Crass, a partner at Friday, Eldredge & Clark, LLP who has served as personal counsel to Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) since 1997 — $250
  • Ed Gillespie, longtime Republican strategist  and former counselor to Bush —$2,400
  • Curt Green, founder of Curt Green & Company Commercial Real Estate and Construction and was a Small Business State Chair for Bush’s 2004 campaign — $100
  • William Griffin, a partner at Sulgrave Partners who served in senior communications roles at the Treasury Department, three presidential campaigns and as a spokesman at the White House — $500
  • Jonathan Gross, a judge advocate with the U.S. Army — $250
  • Prissy Hickerson, a candidate for the Arkansas House who chaired the Arkansas Highway Commission under Huckabee — $250
  • John Horne, worked with both Bush administrations — $250
  • Justin Hunter, senior vice president of government and regulatory affairs at Healthsouth Corp who previously worked for former Rep. Ed Bryant (R-Tenn.) — $500
  • William Asa Hutchinson III,  an associate solicitor in the Patent and Trademark Office and an attorney for the Commerce Department during the Bush administration. He is the son of Asa Hutchinson, a former House member from northwest Arkansas who served at the Department of Homeland Security in the Bush administration. Asa Hutchinson is also a former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas — $500
  • Scott Jeffcoat, an attorney with the U.S. Army — $250
  • Robin King, an executive management consultant with CAE who headed HHS Medicare external affairs and served as industry trade adviser to the Commerce Department during the Bush administration — $500
  • Dennis Kirk, an attorney with the U.S. Army — $252
  • Marc Lampkin, deputy campaign manager of Bush’s 2004 campaign, a senior Bush-Cheney political operative at the 2000 Republican Convention,and leader of the Florida recount efforts in 2000 —  $2,300
  • Robert Livingston, a partner at the Livingston Group who is a former congressman and Assistant U.S. Attorney —  $550
  • Garry Malphrus, a board member and administrative judge with the Board of Immigration Appeals who was controvertial appointed by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales —  $250
  • J. Allen Martin, a partner at the Livingston Group who previously was chief of staff to Rep. Bob Livingston (R-La.) — $500
  • John Mastranadi, the director of Citizens United who ran the research shop at the National Republican Senatorial Committee in the 2002 cycle and worked on the House Government Reform Committee in the late 1990s when it was chaired by Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) and launched many investigations into the Clinton administration — $250
  • Charles Mazander, owner of Mazander Engineering and treasurer of the Republican Party of Arkansas — $1,000
  • Matthew McDonald, a consultant at McKinsey & Company who was a senior adviser on Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign, associate director of communications in the Bush White House and director of rapid response in Bush’s 2004 campaign — $250
  • Edward McFadden, the director of corporate new media strategy at Verizon Communications who was an adviser/speechwriter for Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.), a senior adviser on Thompson’s presidential campaign and a special assistant/chief speechwriter to Attorney General John Ashcroft — $1,000
  • David Norcross, a partner at Blank Rome LLP who was the chairman of the Republican National Convention’s Committee on Arrangements for the 2004 Republican Convention — $1,000
  • Holland Patterson, vice president of government affairs at McBee Strategic Consulting who was the White House liaison in the Office of the Defense Secretary during the Bush administration and deputy regional political director for the Republican National Committee in 2004 — $1,000
  • Clint Reed, a partner at Impact Management Group who previously was the executive director of the Arkansas Republican Party and worked for the RNC — $250
  • Barry Rhoads, the CEO of  The Rhoads Group who previously was tax prosecutor at DOJ — $450
  • Robin Roberts, co-founder and president of National Media — $250
  • Burson Snyder, Deputy Chief of Staff to Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) who previously worked for Thompson —$500
  • Greg Strimple, previously was the deputy political director of the NRSC —$250
  • Sara Taylor, a partner at Bluefront Group who was the director of the White House Office of Political Affairs and deputy assistant to Bush — $500
Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Tim Griffin (Tim Griffin for Congress)

Tim Griffin, a former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas,  will be one of two candidates vying for the Republican nomination in the House race for Arkansas’ 2nd Congressional District. Monday marked the deadline for major party candidates to file with the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office. The other Republican in the race is restaurant owner Scott Wallace.

On the other side of the aisle, Democrats were left scrambling to find a candidate after Rep. Vic Snyder (D-Ark.)  announced in January that he would not seek re-election. Snyder’s decision came hours after a poll showed Griffin leading Snyder by double digits.

Five Democrats filed paperwork to seek the nomination for the open seat — Snyder’s former chief of staff David Boling, attorney John Adams, state Sen. Joyce Elliot, University of Arkansas official Patrick Kennedy and state House Speaker Robbie Wills.

Both primaries will take place May 18.

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

The former Eastern District of Arkansas prosecutor fired during the 2006 U.S. Attorney purge is the acting general counsel for the embattled vehicle service contract provider US Fidelis, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s The Savvy Consumer blog reported Wednesday.

Bud Cummins (DOJ)

Ex-U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins joined US Fidelis late last year to help the Missouri-based company fight off creditors and lawyers, which have taken aim at US Fidelis, according to the blog. The company had mass layoffs in December and January and will no longer sell service contracts. US Fidelis also lost its Wentzville headquarters last month at a foreclosure auction.

Cummins completed some work for US Fidelis last summer when the company employed his Little Rock, Ark., consulting firm, The Savvy Consumer said.

Former Eastern District of Missouri U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway, who served during the Bush administration, also worked for US Fidelis when her firm, the Ashcroft Group, was hired to audit the company, according to the blog. The audit was not completed and the Ashcroft Group no longer works for the company, The Savvy Consumer said.

Cummins was one of nine U.S. Attorneys forced out of office by President George W. Bush’s administration in 2006. He was replaced by former White House aide Tim Griffin, who led the U.S. Attorney’s office for a year. Griffin is now running for a House seat in Arkansas.

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

The vetting process for the U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Arkansas might be coming to an end, the Arkansas Times blog reported Monday.

Michael Barnes (Wright, Lindsey & Jennings)

Little Rock lawyer Michael Barnes is expected to get the nomination for the post. A final announcement might come in March, the blog said.

Barnes, a partner at Wright, Lindsey & Jennings, declined to comment to Main Justice.

Democratic Arkansas Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor recommended three candidates to President Barack Obama in May: Barnes; Jonesboro lawyer Christopher R. Thyer; or Eastern District of Arkansas Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward O. Walker for the post.

A Lincoln spokesman did not have an immediate comment for Main Justice and a Pryor spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This post has been updated from an earlier version.